Evolution of Volkswagen

Volkswagen VW is world acclaimed car manufacturer company in the present day automobile market. It holds number one position in European market and is regarded as the third best company in the world next only to Toyota and General Motors. The position it is entertaining now is the result of years of hard work and hurdles it encountered in the early years from the time it was started in the year 1930. VW literally known as people’s car is the whole idea behind it. The idea was actually a dream of Ferdinand Porsche whose vision is to build a car which a common man can afford.

Porsche was a technical genius with his intuitive thinking in problem and solutions related to automobiles. In the year 1930 he opened his own design centre. The company patented sophisticated independent front suspension system. The company was later invited by German motor cycle company, Zundapp in the year 1931 for the design of a suitable car for them. As this project didn’t go well Zundapp abandoned Porsche and he has to look for a new partner. Later in the year 1932 NSU a motorcycle company who want to enter into cars agreed to work with Porsche. But due to the poor economic conditions at that time NSU has to leave Porsche.

In the year 1933 at the Berlin motor show Adolf Hitler announced his plans to manufacture a car that can be affordable by ordinary man. Porsche didn’t waste any time in approaching Hitler to express his idea. Porsche succeded in convincing Hitler and in 1934 a contract was signed stating the delivery of the first prototype with in 10months. The prototype was to be built by RDA (German auto manufacturers association). But RDA could not succeed in making the design into product. Hitler realized the efforts and extended the support to Porsche. Three prototypes called W1 were released in October 1936.

Next series called VW30 were released. As the facilities to produce the cars did not exist, Hitler announces plans to build manufacturing unit at a town called KDF stadt. It was founded in May 1938 and the production was to start by September 1939. But due to the World War –II that broke out in 1939 March, the unit produced vehicles necessary for military purposes. The KDF wagen factory was the prime target for the allied forces and unit was destroyed. After the war in 1945 the region came into British control and they took over it under the supervision of Ivan Hrist.

In the year 1945 the British renamed the factory as Volkswagen and the town was named as Wolfsburg. Many automobile manufacturing companies were offer the rights over Volkswagen between the year 1945 to 1949, which was turned down due to its poorer capacity. In the year 1949 the Volkswagen was again handed over to German government and Heinrich Nordhoff was made the senior executive of the Volkswagen. From then the performance of the factory increased rapidly and by year 1950 first VW transporter was produced from this factory. VWs were exported to companies like Belgium, Denmark, Sweeden, Switzerland. Read about Evolution of Job Design

By 1951 VW began to produce deluxe versions of Beetles. In 1952 VW dealer ship was opened in England. It also entered American market in 1950, but it could not impress at the early stages. By 1955 VW came out with a new model called Karmann Ghia. Over the next 50 years Volkswagen witnessed many changes both in business and products. VW relations with Porsche are always better. Porsche manufacturers used many of the VW components. In 2005 Porsche took 18. 65% stake in VW. By the year 20 march 2007 its stake has increased to 30. 9%. In the present day European market nearly 19.

9% cars come from VW group. The group is made up of eight brands from six European countries. The group has its operations in 18 countries with 44 manufacturing facilities with over 325,000 employees working in the group with its vehicles being used in 150 countries. The profits gained by VW during 2007 are around 4. 12Billion Euros.

References:

[1] Kalin Staikov “ Volkswagen History ” by Ezine Publishers. http://ezinearticles. com/? Volkswagen-History&id=1033481 [2] http://www. autoshoppingcenter. com/VW/vw_history. html [3] http://people. westminstercollege. edu/staff/bknorr/html/history3. htm

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